Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good times at TFL

After college, I spent about six years (on and off) working at the Trapp Family Lodge (or TFL as we called it) in various jobs, from administrative assistant for timeshare sales, to bartender and hostess in the Main Dining Room and Lounge, and ultimately to group sales. Those were some of the best years of my life. My co-workers were fun, the guests were, for the most part, really nice (those that weren’t, well they were the ones we mocked behind their backs). If you were going to be a von Trapp in public, well, it was the place to do it.

People who visited the Trapp Family Lodge generally fell into one of three categories. At the top of the list was my parents’ generation. They remembered the Trapp Family Singers from their touring days, and would often tell stories about the time they went to one concert or another. Or perhaps they had come to the Music Camp back in the 1940’s. I think I learned more about my own family history from them than anyone.

The second group is those who associate the von Trapp name first with the Trapp Family Lodge, and second with The Sound of Music. They were the guests who returned year after year and remembered the Lodge before the fire in 1980 (photo left). These folks felt like extended family. Lots of them became timeshare owners. Often, this group was from my own generation, having been introduced to the Lodge by their parents, who were part of the first group.

The last group is made up of hardcore movie fans that came to Trapp Family Lodge expecting to be greeted at the front door by Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and the rest of the original movie cast. They also were the greatest source of amusement.

So picture this: the luncheon crowd is clearing out, and I’m working behind the bar decked out in my standard-issue dirndl, setting up for evening service. Suddenly I hear this excited voice. “You’re one of THEM aren’t you?” I turn around. “Excuse me?” “DON’T say anything.” (Seriously, I think if the woman could have, she would have reached across the bar and put her finger to my lips.) “I just want to say I SAW one of THEM.” There was no escape. I just did as I was told and quietly let her qawk at me. When she left, I stuck my head through the service window , where the other waitstaff were trying to keep straight faces. “WHO TOLD?” I demanded. “What? She asked if there were any family members working here today,” said my friend, it was a job requirement.

I got her back. A while later, some people came to the dining room during dinner set up, just to look. “Is this where the movie was filmed?” the woman asked excitedly. Oh, we had a live one here. “Um, no,” I said. “The movie was filmed in Salzburg, AUSTRIA.” Disappointed she asked hopefully, “Well, are any of you part of the family?” I quickly pointed to Kate “SHE IS!” and smiled innocently. What could she say? Denying it would just make it look like she was lying, and in her long braids and dirndl, she certainly looked the part. You know what they say, payback’s a bitch. Ah, those were the days. -- F.v.T.


  1. I worked for a Carl F Trapp when I was associated with Stone and Webster Engineering, way back when. His family spent much of its time at the Trapp Family Lodge; now I wish I had asked more about his family history.

  2. Hmmm. I don't know a Carl Trapp. Wonder what the connection is?